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GSTS Denounces Ethiopian Government’s Referendum Plan for Western Tigray

Mekelle:  24 March 2024 (Tigray Herald)

GSTS Denounces Ethiopian Government’s Referendum Plan for Western Tigray

Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) has issued a resounding denouncement of the Ethiopian Government’s plan to conduct a referendum in Western Tigray, labeling it as unconstitutional and dangerous.

In a statement on Saturday, the society said it “denounces the Federal Government’s plan to conduct a referendum in Western and Southern Tigray, which directly contravenes the Pretoria Agreement stipulating a full return to the 1995 Ethiopian constitution (status quo ante). The Federal Government’s disingenuous suggestion to redraw borders by force under the pretext of conducting a sham and unconstitutional referendum after large-scale ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans.”

Expressing grave concern over the proposed referendum, GSTS emphasized the potential risks it poses to peace and stability in the region. The society condemned the government’s disregard for existing agreements and constitutional provisions, warning that the referendum could exacerbate existing tensions and further marginalize the people of Tigray.

The society also opposes any plan to repatriate Tigrayan IDPs and refugees without adequate protection measures in place.

“GSTS unequivocally opposes any plan to repatriate Tigrayan IDPs and refugees in the absence of Tigray Interim Administration and its apparatus including local administration, justice system, law enforcement and security mechanisms to ensure the protection of the returnees. GSTS reiterates its call for the removal of the administration imposed by the Amhara Regional State and its forces, and Eritrean forces,” the statement read.

GSTS calls for the full reinstatement of Tigray’s territorial administrative and governmental structures in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Coordinated Humanitarian Assistance (CoHA) agreement.

GSTS underscored the need for dialogue and inclusive decision-making processes to address the grievances of all parties involved. The society urged the Ethiopian Government to respect the sovereignty of Tigray and uphold the principles of democracy and rule of law.

GSTS also calls on the international community to condemn the referendum plan and support efforts to promote peace, stability, and respect for human rights in Tigray and across Ethiopia.

Source,Tigray Television.

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